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What is Autism?

With so much misinformation out there about what autism is, or what it looks like, we're here to breakdown what exactly autism is, what the symptoms might be, and potential treatment plans.


First, What is Autism?


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects each individual differently. It typically appears in early childhood and is characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. The current CDC rate 2021 is 1 in 44 children in the U.S. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with (ASD) than girls.


What Causes Autism?


As unsatisfying as this answer might be, the research just isn't conclusive. Researchers have not identified the exact cause of ASD. However research does show that the environment or genetics could decide whether a person can develop the disorder.


What Are the Symptoms?


ASD symptoms vary in severity and not every individual has every symptom. The CDC lists the following symptoms.

  • Avoids or does not keep eye contact

  • Does not respond to name by 9 months of age

  • Does not show facial expressions like happy, sad, angry, and surprised by 9 months of age

  • Does not play simple interactive games like pat-a-cake by 12 months of age

  • Uses few or no gestures by 12 months of age (e.g., does not wave goodbye)

  • Does not share interests with others (e.g., shows you an object that he or she likes by 15 months of age)

  • Does not point or look at what you point to by 18 months of age

  • Does not notice when others are hurt or sad by 24 months of age

  • Does not pretend in play (e.g., does not pretend to “feed” a doll by 30 months of age)

  • Shows little interest in peers

  • Has trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about own feelings at 36 months of age or older

  • Does not play games with turn taking by 60 months of age


What Are the Treatments?


The CDC lists ABA Therapy as one of the approaches along with Occupational Therapy and speech therapy. Here at Meem Behavior you can have ABA, Speech and OT all in one location. Click here to learn more about our services and get started today.




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